Tonga Skills for Inclusive Economic Growth (Tonga Skills) provides training, coaching and business development services to enhance the economic outcomes and livelihoods of Tongans. This Australian Government initiative aims to support skills sector reform in Tonga with a key focus on skills development linked directly to inclusive economic growth.
Tonga Skills commenced in November 2016 and throughout 2017–18 there was a considerable increase in activity at different levels across strategic and operational areas of the program.
This year more than 90 skills development activities were facilitated by the program in four key productive sectors: tourism, construction and trades, manufacturing of handicrafts, and agriculture and fisheries.
Simultaneously, Tonga Skills worked collaboratively with the Tonga National Qualifications and Accreditation Board to accredit short and community courses and register new training providers. This has led to an increase in the number and diversity of courses and providers.
Additionally, half of the skills development activities occurred in the outer islands – a first for an Australian-funded skills program in Tonga – providing consistent and high demand training for the remote populations of Tonga.
A key initiative of Tonga Skills is to integrate inclusion into all parts of the program at both the governance and skills development activity levels. Tonga Skills has become a permanent member of the National Disability Task Force with the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Through the program’s support people with disabilities from the Alonga Centre in Nuku’alofa now have a dedicated market staff at Vuna Wharf to sell their products to cruise ship tourists.program has become a permanent member of the National Disability Task Force and provided market stalls to showcase products created by people with disabilities.